EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 3, 2012

Methuen mayor meets with business leaders


The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Mayor Steve Zanni was joined by several leaders in the local business community to discuss how Methuen can better support existing businesses, while also attracting new ones. This meeting was a step by the Zanni administration, which said it wantted to make Methuen more business-friendly.

“I try to get out into the community as much as possible to speak directly with business owners,” said Zanni. “But I wanted to gather this group together to begin looking at ways the City can make it easier for our businesses to operate.”

Zanni, who described the group as a Strategic Economic Development Advisory Committee that will meet quarterly, said that this is a great way to bring business owners together with local, regional, state, and federal officials.

“This meeting wasn’t just an isolated gathering,” explained Zanni. “I sought their input because these people are invested in the success of Methuen, and I want their help in reaching out to the broader business community to gather input.”

Zanni said he tasked the group with gathering information on what obstacles exist to business owners as they try to establish themselves or expand their operation.

“I think this is a great initiative by the Mayor and the City,” said Dennis DiZoglio, Executive Director of the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission. “It is an opportunity to engage local businesses and get our ideas out there on improving our local economy. I’m very excited.”

Zanni’s advisory committee includes: William Buckley, the city’s Community Development Director; Victor Ciardiello, a local business executive; Nancy Colbert Puff, Zanni’s chief of staff; John Cook, President of Comfort Home Care; Dennis DiZoglio, Executive Director of the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission; Dan Giuffrida, owner of Jay Gees Ice Cream; Brian Martin, Senior Advisor in the Office of Congresswoman Niki Tsongas; Janet McLennan, owner of Century 21 McLennan & Co.; Peter Milano, Senior Regional Director of the MA Office of Business Development; Thomas Quine, President of Northstar Industries; and Lester Schindel, President of Holy Family Hospital.

Rhoton campaign looks for phone banking volunteers

Karin Rhoton, the former North Andover School Committee member who is running for the State House, is looking for volunteers to help with a phone bank Thursd

ay.

“We have the entire district call queued and we need volunteers to bring our message of fiscal responsibility and common sense to the voters,” she said in a statement.

Rhoton said the campaign will make the calls from the Mass Victory Phone Bank in Andover – Jim Lyons Barn – at 12 Highvale Lane, Andover starting at 6 p.m. and going until 8:30. Anyone interested in volunteering can call James Trombly (781) 389-6716 orjames@karinrhoton.com with any questions or to arrange transportation, the campaign said.

The North Andover Republican is challenging Methuen Democrat Diana DiZoglio in the newly-reconfigured 14th Essex House district. Incumbent Rep. David Torrisi, D-North Andover, lost the primary race last month to DiZoglio.

Lebanese group awards $32K

in scholarships

The American Lebanese Awareness Association, a Lawrence-based group promoting the impact of Lebanese heritage in the area, awarded $32,000 in scholarships at its awards banquet this summer, the group said.

Established in 1984 to continue the Lebanese Legacy of Pride, Heritage, Culture, and Accomplishments, the American Lebanese Awareness Association has awarded a total of $943,500 to 919 students over the last 29 years, said Judy Farah, a member of the group’s board of directors.

The 29th Annual Banquet was held on Saturday, June 9, at Michael’s Function Hall in Haverhill, where $32,000 in scholarships awarded to 27 undergraduate students.

Receiving scholarships were: Gabrielle Hill, Elizabeth Teebagy, Jesica Chaya, Meaghan Drees, Carla Francis, Michelle Abou-Raad, Carla Khoder, Jacquelyn Farah, Sofia Ashooh, Kaleigh Kfoury, Grace Oulette, Chena Farhat, Elias Kassis, Gabriel Hamawi, Benjamin Maroon, Anthony Francis, Jeremy Kamari, Peter Somi, Christian Hbaiter, Zach Walsh, Tony Abou-Jaoude, Marc Letayf, Jacob Fleming and C

hase Clark.